Pope Francis named Italian economist and Catholic religious sister Alessandra Smerilli as secretary of the Vatican’s social development office on an interim basis. Smerilli was appointed “ad interim” secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development following the departure of secretary Msgr. Bruno Marie Duffé and deputy secretary Fr. Augusto Zampini, who have returned to their home dioceses, the Vatican announced Aug. 26. The 46-year-old Salesian sister is an economist and professor. She has been an undersecretary at the human development dicastery since March 24 and was one of the principal organizers of the 2020 Economy of Francesco event. Since 2019, Smerilli has also served as a councilor of the Vatican City State and a consultant to the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. In spring 2020, she was asked to coordinate the economic taskforce of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission.